Born and raised on a farm, South Africa’s first ever Michelin-star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, always knew he would one day return to the bush; to the campfires and the open skies of his beloved South Africa.

A global partnership with the Oppenheimer family, which was born of a shared passion and vision for all things South African – including the country’s food, people, and shared culture and arts – has led to an incredible project that celebrates the unexplored culinary territory of the vast Kalahari.

Van der Westhuizen will be opening a new restaurant to add to his existing successful restaurant in Nice, titled JAN. The new restaurant, KLEIN JAN, will open its doors in one of South Africa’s leading private game reserves, Tswalu Kalahari.

Tswalu Kalahari is an untamed, untouched and unspoiled refuge that celebrates the simple, authentic splendours of this magical land.

Jan Hendrik’s new restaurant will be driven by the values of local authenticity, heritage, and sustainability of the environment; KLEIN JAN will become the place where the region’s vast culinary offering will be translated into world-class cuisine, and where Jan Hendrik and his team will also design the Tswalu dining experience. Discovering this unexplored culinary territory with its unlimited potential has been a dream of Jan Hendrik’s for years.

In addition, JAN Innovation Studio, a new development kitchen, will be opening its doors in Cape Town, where a team of chefs and students will continually develop and innovate South African cuisine. The Cape Town team will share their findings with their colleagues at JAN in Nice, which will remain one of the premier gateways for sharing South African cuisine with the world. 

JAN Innovation Studio will also be home to JAN the JOURNAL, a biannual publication that shares Jan Hendrik’s ideas, passion and curiosity about the culinary world. This collector’s book is available in both South Africa and in Europe. 

These two new projects, in partnership with Jonathan Oppenheimer, will allow the proud South African chef to return to his roots and shoot for the stars in the African sky.

Pictures: Instagram/Supplied

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.